Comparing Currency Exchange Services: currencylayer.com Vs. OpenExchangeRates

Exchange rates have a far reaching impact on international trade and businesses. They can directly or indirectly affect the success or failure of a company, and play a key role for importers, exporters, tourist industry, manufacturing sector, and so on.

With the established importance of exchange rates, it is important to have an efficient and reliable server that can provide accurate and fast information on various exchange rates. It can take a bit of time and effort to compare the services of various platforms in this regard. To make things easy for you, we have compiled a list of options made available by two competing platforms, i.e., currencylayer.com and openexchangerates.org. In this blog we’ll compare and contrast various features provided by the two platforms.

What Kind of Exchange Rate API Support Is There?

Both currencylayer.com and openexchangerates.org serve user requests via a simple HTTPS request, where the response object is JSON. The JSON object can be easily parsed and read by any app. Both platforms require an API key or APP ID for authentication. In terms of ease of use, both platforms are equivalent. Here is an example call for currencylayer.com as shown on their website for retrieving the most recent exchange rate data:

An example call for openexchangerates.org looks as follows for getting the latest exchange rates:

Both platforms return JSON, which has a similar structure. The documentation of APIs on both platforms is also clear and easy to understand.

Our rating for both platforms in terms of ease of use and documentation is given below:

FeatureCurrencylayer.comOpenexchangerates.org
API ease of use
Documentation of APIs
Rating w.r.t. API ease of use and documentation

What are the Types of Currencies Supported?

Along with world currency exchange rates, an exchange rate server is also expected to provide the rates for precious metals like gold and silver.

The table below summarizes the features of both currencylayer.com and openexchangerates.org in this respect. Both platforms provide world currency and precious metals exchange rates.

Typecurrencylayeropenexchangerates
World
currencies
YesYes
Precious
metals
YesYes
Currencies supported by currencylayer.com and openexchangerates.org

Our overall rating for this features is:

FeatureCurrencylayer.comOpenexchangerates.org
World currencies
and precious metals
Overall rating for world currencies and precious metals support

What Are the Available Subscription Plans for the Two Services

Both currencylayer.com and openexchangerates.org have different subscription plans for users. Different plans offer different features. Below is a summary table that compares the subscription plans between the two services:

currencylayer openexchangerates 
PlanPrice
$/month
PlanPrice
$/month
Free0Free0
Basic9.99
*7.99
Developer^12
Professional39.99
*31.99
Enterprise^47
Business79.99
*63.99
Unlimited^97
* If yearly plan is selected, ^ Two month free if yearly plan is selected

In terms of pricing currencylayer.com is cheaper. Both services have special deals for an yearly subscription. It is shown with the special characters ‘*’ and ‘^’.

In summary, this is how we rate both services w.r.t. costs and pricing:

FeatureCurrencylayer.comOpenexchangerates.org
Price
Overall rating in terms of price

 

What Are The Desired Features of a Currency Exchange Server?

The table below shows a list of features that a currency exchange server is expected to have. We’ll refer to these features when comparing the two platforms.

FeaturesDescription
Real-time
updates
Server outputs the live currency exchange rates w.r.t base/source currency at regular time intervals. The time interval varies depending upon the API subscription package.
Base/source
currency
Change base/source currency. The default is normally US dollar (USD).
Historical
Rates
Returns the exchange rates for any specific date starting from the year 1999. The source currency can be varied depending upon the subscription plan.
Time frame/
Time series
When given a start and end date, the server returns the exchange rate w.r.t a base currency for different input currencies for that time period.
Currency
conversion
Convert a given amount from one currency to another
StatisticsStatistics such as exchange rate at the start and end of a given time period, average, percentage change etc.
Various features of a currency exchange server

Let’s compare currencylayer.com and openexchangerates.org with respect to the above features.

How Do Features of CurrencyLayer and OpenExchangeRates Compare?

Let’s get down to business and compare the various features provided by the two platforms.

Comparison In Terms of Real Time Updates and API requests/month

One of the most important features of a currency exchange server is whether it can provide live real time updates or not. It is also important to know how many API requests can be made for a given time period for any subscription plan. The table below shows the update rate and API requests per month for the services.

currencylayer
.com
  openexchangerates
.org
  
PlanUpdatesAPI requests
/month
PlanUpdatesAPI requests
/month
FreeDaily250FreeHourly1000
Basic60-min10,000Developer60-min10,000
Professional10-min100,000Enterprise30-min100,000
Business1-min500,000Unlimited5-minUnlimited
Comparison in terms of update frequency and API requests/month

While openexchangerates.com has hourly updates for free subscription plan, there is no 1-minute update option available on any plan. However, unlike currencylayer.com, openexchangerates.com has the unlimited API requests per month option on the unlimited plan, which may be the right option for big corporate customers.

For the live updates and API requests per month, we rate the two services as:

FeatureCurrencylayer.comOpenexchangerates.org
Live updates
API requests/month
Overall rating in terms of live updates and API requests per month

Comparison In Terms of Miscellaneous Features

The following table compares various features of the two platforms. The services provided vary, depending upon the subscription plan.

Featurescurrencylayeropenexchangerates
Base/source
currency
Free x
Basic
Professional
Business
Free x
Developer  
Enterprise ✓ 
Unlimited  
Historical
Rates
Free ✓
Basic ✓
Professional ✓
Business ✓
Free ✓ 
Developer ✓ 
Enterprise ✓ 
Unlimited ✓ 
Time frame/
Time series
Free x
Basic x
Professional ✓
Business ✓
Free x
Developer x
Enterprise ✓ 
Unlimited ✓ 
Currency
conversion
Free x
Basic ✓
Professional ✓
Business ✓
Free x
Developer x
Enterprise x
Unlimited ✓ 
StatisticsFree x
Basic x
Professional x
Business ✓
Only for VIP Platinum tier
Statistics
details
Open, close,
change, percentage
change within a
given time period
Open, high low, close and
Average exchange rates
for a given time period
Comparison of various features

Our overall rating in terms of miscellaneous features is:

FeatureCurrencylayer.comOpenexchangerates.org
Miscellaneous features
Overall rating in terms of miscellaneous features

Our Final Ratings

Here is a summary of how we rate the two services:

FeatureCurrencylayer.comOpenexchangerates.org
API ease of use
Documentation of APIs
Currency support +
precious metals
Price
More expensive plans for
each subscription type
Live updates
No option for update every minute
API requests/month
No unlimited option
Miscellaneous features
Some features only
available for the unlimited plan
Overall rating

Both currencylayer.com and openexchangerates.org are competing currency exchange services platform with their pros and cons. Both of them have similar features. If you are a big corporate customer with need for unlimited API calls then you can go for openexchangerates.org.

Overall for most users and businesses, currencylayer.com is a smarter option and a better choice with more features, affordable rates, support for 168+ currencies, easy to call APIs, and good documentation. Sign up for your free trial at currencylayer.com today and try out various currency exchange features all under one platform.

Disclaimer: The information was verified at the time of writing this blog. The subscription plans and features provided by each platform can vary or change with time.